Volkswagen has taken the wraps off its newest autonomous car concept, and it looks like something straight out of a neo-‘80s sci-fi cityscape. The I.D. Vizzion is the latest in the company’s series of electric vehicles fit for the future, and this one shows how “self-driving” doesn’t have to mean “dull box on wheels.”
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the concept unveiled Monday is the range in the machine. It packs a 111 kilowatt-hour battery pack, enabling a range of up to 413 miles per charge. The car uses two electric motors with regenerative braking to effectively push the charge to its limits. Coupled with a robotic car charger designed for autonomously charging a car at the right moments, it seems Volkswagen’s design may be onto a long-lasting winner.
Volkswagen has outlined an impressive use of the autonomous technologies to improve the drive:
The ‘digital chauffeur’ with its many assistance systems assumes control of the vehicle – without a steering wheel or visible controls. For the ‘driver’ and passengers this signifies a new dimension of safety and comfort. The concept car drives, steers and navigates autonomously in traffic, enabling passengers to freely structure their time during the drive. A virtual host, with which passengers communicate via voice and gesture control, knows the personal preferences of the vehicle guests – thanks to complete embedding into the digital eco-system – and it adapts to each of them individually.
The concept is the latest look at how electric driving can shape future design, ahead of the company’s stated goal of over 20 electric vehicles by 2025. The I.D. Buzz unveiled in January 2017 mixed old and new by creating a self-driving version of the Microbus hippie van of yesteryear. The I.D. Crozz unveiled in September 2017 shows a four-door sports utility vehicle that uses solar energy to boost its range, with photovoltaic-looking cells adorning the roof. Another I.D. vehicle showed how the company could compete with the Nissan Leaf for the entry-level market. A compact I.D. will launch as a real vehicle in 2020, followed by Crozz and Buzz launches shortly after.
See the I.D. Buzz in action here:
Of course, the I.D. Vizzion faces tough competition from Tesla’s second-generation Roadster. Set to hit the roads in 2020, the car packs a 220 kWh battery to deliver 620 miles of range per charge. If the company can deliver on its promise of full autonomous driving at a later date, it could give volkswagen a serious run for its money.
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